Recital pieces for early levels
Found in: Recitals & Events
Sandy B., California
If the majority of your students are in Foundation 1 and Foundation 2 and that’s basically all the songs they know, what do you have them play for recital so that there isn’t a ton of repetition? Especially because everyone wants to play the blues. What other songs did you pick that I could adapt and teach to that level of students?
Brenda D., Colorado
Original compositions are awesome.
Jacqui G., Canada
Two students can play a “duet” of two different F1 songs played together – that’s always fun, and a challenge.
Joy O., Alabama
All of the 12-bar blues pieces, with variations, will go together well for sure.
Jaclyn O., Tennessee
My first recital is set for April 30th and all my students are in or basically just completed Level 2 with one student 3/4 or so of the way into Level 3. I had each student, with my help, select one level piece they are good at. They all have different strengths so it wasn’t too hard picking a different piece for each. A few months ago, with the recital in mind, I purposely started several of them on Arrangements (Dreams, Night Storm, I’ll Be There, and Tear for a Friend for my Level 3 student). I’m call this their “show piece”.
Then I paired up students to play a duet. I chose three students whom I knew had time to work on the arrangement/accompaniment part and the others are playing the original part. They are all private students so they will come together the week before to practice with each other. To extend the duets, I’m having the Accompaniment student play through their part alone. Then the other student will play the original/melody alone and then they play together.
Likewise on the arrangements, they are playing the original Level 1 version before the “advanced” version. I created connector notes to make the transition seamless. For Night Storm, my student will play it with RH only the first time, then both hands with the FSS variation, then moving into the advanced version with the connector. I’ve had to be creative to make the performance last more than five minutes!
Lastly, for each student willing to step up and create an original piece, I’ll end with a songwriter’s showcase. I have two for sure but hopefully one or two more will join in for that too.
So each student is playing 3-4 pieces with no duplicate songs. Two of my students are playing a piece we have worked on at their request. One is a hymn that the student could easily learn based on what knowledge she had acquired thus far, and she has a huge interest in hymns. We are hoping to have the audience join in after she plays it once. This would be great to do with Amazing Grace too!
The other student wanted to learn Take Me Out to the Ball Game, so I simplified a version that could easily be taught by fragmenting. This actually turned out to be a real motivator for her as she had reached a valley and is now wanting to keep playing. She is planning to sing as she plays it and then if all goes well the audience will join her for a second time.
I only have five students, so if you have lots more it probably would be quite challenging to have variety at those levels. I was very grateful we had the arrangements and duet options available at this stage, as I think many of them make beautiful recital pieces.
Sandy B., California
I am having one girl learn Gymnopedie No. 1 by Erik Satie. She’s just going to do the accompaniment (chords) and I got another girl to play the melody on violin. I made a couple of arrangements of Level 1 and 2 songs, but the songs are so short. One girl wanted to play Minuet in G, so I’ll break down the B section of that and teach it to her. There are things to do, but I was concerned about repeated songs as well as things being too short.
Leeanne I., Australia
I have them do an original composition or an improvisation in addition to a Foundation song. I list everyone’s names and what they have chosen to play on the back of my white board. I ask students to try and pick a different song. Though I usually still end up with about three playing the same. When I do the recital order, I just try and space out the repetitions.
Cheri S., Utah
Good news! Your studio will eventually evolve toward lots more variety!
For now, talk about it, so people will know what to expect.
As others have said, compositions or arrangements help. Also Accompaniment. It’s super fun to have everyone sing along with Songs for Children pieces.
Also, each of my students only plays one piece, so that helps too. When someone chooses Songs for Children, they’re out of the repeating Foundation pool.
I tell kids when others are playing the same song. Some kids don’t want to be a repeat. And if three other kids already picked that song, they have to choose something else.
Heidi M., Canada
Most of my students are also in F1 and F2 also. I sometimes ask my students to play their own variations and compositions. Or maybe they have their own special ending for Alma Mater Blues so that there is still some variety.